What To Look Out For In Braces Treatment Contracts
In this edition of Friday Focus, Dr. O, your Irvine Orthodontist from iSmiles Orthodontics, discusses some of the sneaky tricks orthodontists can use to hide fees in braces treatment contracts.
“Only $99 DOWN to begin treatment” sounds like a great deal. However, lower starting costs are not always equivalent to lower costs for the total treatment. In this example, you may be signing up for an open-ended contract that can be very costly.
Always ask the question, “What is the ultimate goal of your treatment costs?”
If you decide to pay $99/month for a plan that costs $4000, the treatment duration works out to be 40 months. Do you want to be stuck in a lengthy contract that requires additional monthly appointments so the office can receive the $99 payment?
It’s a sneaky trick that patients can fall for if they don’t ask the right questions.
Another trick is the “you ran over your treatment time” scenario, which means “we need to charge you.”
Here, an orthodontist might give you a 2-year treatment timeline to produce that perfect smile. If the treatment requires more than 2 years, you can be charged for every additional month until you complete your treatment.
To add insult to injury, you could be told the reason you’ve surpassed your estimated treatment timeline is “your lack of cooperation.” If you missed a couple of appointments, thinking it’s okay, you might be charged with unexpected costs at the end of your treatment plan.
Orthodontic treatment contracts can be presented in many ways. Sometimes a contract is set based on the duration of treatment to break down the costs. You could be charged for 12 months of treatment vs. 18 months.
With advancements in technology, I think this model is thankfully fading away. Now, patients will pay for the results vs. the length of treatment.
iSmiles Orthodontics is results-driven, and our contracts reflect that. If your treatment plan is estimated to take 24 months to achieve and we can’t deliver that perfect smile in 30 months, there is no additional charge. We ensure our patients know how much their treatment will cost with no hidden fees.